Sunday, May 4, 2014

Loading Speed Behind Website Success - A Myth

Most people - even technocrates and entrepreneurs - think that loading speed of the website is a very major factor behind the success of the website. This is not true. As long as your website is not prohibitively slow it has minimal to no impact on the success of the website. What matters is how you market it, how easy it is to use, how viral it can potentially be on the social media. But ultimately it all boils down to how much its utility is for the end users. Without that, even if you get some breakthrough in the beginning, it will be very hard to sustain the business.

I've observed painstaking slow performance of GMail many times, even FB/Twitter are also slow sometimes. Not to mention many govt websites. But does that mean you stop using it? Never. As long as the website provides adequate utility to you, you will never go away from the website.

There is another myth peddled (mostly) by "visionary" entrepreneurs that if your website is slow then the first time looker will just go away and never come back. From my personal observation this is not true. The first time looker will be much much more patient than a regular user. For example if I want to explore a new website concept, I will take time to explore it patiently. But if I want to check my GMail account and it starts running slow, then I might just lose the patience because it is used to run fast enough regularly.

Unfortunately, this myth has given a lot of developers sleepless nights and ruined the careers of some. While I don't say that websites don't need to be fast... they must be as fast as they can get, but by no means it is a make-or-brake situation. What matters is how you market it and how interesting your website it. Also, I've seen so many entrepreneurs simply abandon the project just because of the slowness of their website. This is wrong. Unless you are creating a search engine, the loading speed is the last factor you should worry about to get your website do business. Given the "mobile trend" of today's world, I would put the factors like "Responsiveness" far higher than speed.

I ask these two questions to every reader of this blog...

1. How many websites you regularly use/visit mainly for its speed?

2. Would you stop using a website that provides more utility to you in comparison to its competitor if it is bit slower than its competitor?

Heck, I dare say even Google Search is not used primarily for its speed but for its search accuracy and utility.

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